Students at the M.J.C. East Campus

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Modesto Junior College

Coaching Staff

Rusty Stivers - Head Football Coach

Rusty Stivers

Rusty Stivers has been named the 12th head coach in the 94-year history of MJC Football. Stivers was approved May 13th, 2015 by the Yosemite Community College Board.  He takes over for Sam Young, the winningest football coach in Modesto Junior College football history (97-67, .581). 

Rusty started his coaching career at the high school level where he was given the opportunity in 2000 to turn around a program (Riverbank High School) that had 18 consecutive losing seasons into the best record (2001) in school history.

As the offensive coordinator at MJC for the last 9 years, Stivers has orchestrated one of the most successful offenses in the state of California. The MJC "NASCAR" offense is #1 in the state of California, averaging 500 yards and 40 points/game the last 4 seasons (2011-2014). The "NASCAR" offense was also #1 in the state of California in total offense (537.4/game), Red Zone TD efficiency (78%), 1st downs/game (28.8), and number of plays (86) per game in 2013.  

Since taking over as the offensive coordinator in 2006, the MJC Quarterbacks have broken multiple school records and have been All League or All State eight consecutive years (2006-2013). From 2009 to 2011, three Quarterbacks earned full ride scholarships to Division I universities. Rusty has worked with a company called, "Coaches Choice" to develop 4 coaching videos about the Modesto Junior College Offense.

Rusty Stivers is a proud graduate of Hilmar High School (1990) where he was named as an All-State running back for Jerry Van Lengen and voted the Trans Valley League MVP on offense and defense.  He continued his playing career at MJC and was named an All-State running back for Steve Daprato in 1992.  Stivers then transferred to University of California @ Davis where he started at running back in 1994 under Bob Biggs and completed his B.A. in Exercise Science. Rusty has a teaching credential from National University and a Masters of Sport Science from the United States Sports Academy.  

According to Stivers, "I am honored to accept what I consider to be my dream job as the head football coach at Modesto Junior College. Our vision is to be a premiere student-transfer program for our local community.  I cannot thank Coach Young enough for the opportunity the last 12 years to grow and develop under his tutelage."

Rusty is married to Melissa Stivers and has 4 daughters (Sophie 8, Ava 6, Haygen 4, and Lainey 2).

Assistant Coaches

Eddie Abbasi -  Inside Linebackers 

Coach Abbasi begins his second year at MJC, mentoring the inside linebackers. He is a graduate of Turlock High School. Coach Abbasi then played at Modesto Junior College, where he became a successful student athlete receiving 1st team all-conference honors. He was selected best linebacker by peers and was a team captain. He continued his football career at the University of Southern Oregon, while chasing his Bachelor’s degree in Special Education. He returns to MJC after a coaching stint at his high school alma mater. Eddie and his wife, Capri, reside in Turlock.

Jeff Borden - Offensive Assistant

Coach Borden has a passion for mentoring young people in life skills and taking advantage of the opportunity athletics provides them to complete their education and begin a successful career pursuit. He has been a volunteer coach in football, basketball and baseball at Ceres High School and Mae Hensley Junior High School in various roles over the previous nine years. Jeff is a member of Northern California Sports Officials Association and is an active high school and youth football, baseball and softball official.

Brett Butler - Athletic Development

Coach Butler is native to Modesto and a Thomas Downey High School and a MJC Alum. Brett was a two sport star at Downey High, in basketball and football. He was a 1st team all-conference player and all-district selection. While at Modesto JC, he was a team captain and received the Ralph Bradley Award (unsung hero). He received a full scholarship to powerhouse Delta State. While at DSU, Brett was a team captain, 1st team all-conference and an academic all-conference performer. He coached at Downey High School prior to coming MJC. Brett trains and mentors local athletes with his program named “The Performance Lab” where athletes from youth, high school, college and pro have come to get in the best shape of their life. Coach Butler fi nished his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at CSU Stanislaus. He and his wife Jessica reside in Modesto.

Ron Gross - Offensive Line

Coach Gross is in his ninth year with the Pirates. He was an outstanding four-sport star at Colusa High School earning all-conference and all-area selection in football. Ron had a very successful career in both football and baseball at Yuba College. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from CSU Chico. He subsequently fi nished his Master’s degree from American University. Ron also handles the head coaching duties of the Pirate men’s golf team. Ron and his wife, Amy, reside in Modesto with their four children, Brett, Katelyn, Brock and Blake.

Zach Hollis - Wide Receivers

Zach Hollis joins the Pirates staff this year coaching wide receivers. Coach Hollis began his coaching career in 2011 at his alma mater Turlock High School, where he spent two seasons as the receiver’s coach before becoming the Offensive Coordinator in 2013. He spent last season coaching quarterbacks and receivers at Merced College. A 2004 graduate of Turlock High School, he continued his playing career at Merced College before transferring to Modesto Junior College, where he played quarterback and special teams for the Pirates. In 2010, Zach graduated from CSU Sacramento with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Zach and his wife Alyssa live in Turlock, where he runs his family’s beef cattle business and farms.

Joe Luke Jr. - Defensive Line - Special Tea\ms Coordinator 

Coach Luke begins his eighth season with MJC football. He was previously the assistant head coach/ defensive coordinator at Calvary Temple High School. Coach Luke served in the United States Air Force as a Law Enforcement Specialist-Investigator. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Park University. Joe resides in Modesto. He has three children: daughters, Natalie and Jozette and son, Joseph. 

Kevin Ruiz - Quarterbacks - Offensive Coordinator

Coach Ruiz is starting his fourth year as wide receiver coach for the Pirates. Kevin comes to us after four successful seasons as defensive coordinator at Grace Davis High School and three years as an assistant coach at Central Catholic High School. He also spent one year as defensive back coach at Schurr High School in Southern California. Coach Ruiz is native to Modesto, and played quarterback and defensive back for Central Catholic High School. He continued his career, playing defensive back for Whittier College. He was also a three year letterman for the baseball team. He and his wife, Jennifer, son Mason, and daughter Dannon reside in Modesto.

Sam Young - Outside Linebackers

Sam Young brings over thirty years of college coaching experience to MJC. He is a native of Porterville California and a product of the Community College system. He transferred to the University of California, Davis where is received his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. He later received a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from Cal State University Sacramento. A long time physical education instructor at MJC, Sam is now retired from teaching and resides in Turlock.

Thomas Lanto- Running Backs
Kirk Peterson- Recruiting 




Contact Us

Rusty Stivers
Head Coach
Phone: 209-575-6712


East Campus
Physical Eduction offices

  • Monday: 9-5
  • Tuesday: 9-5
  • Wednesday: 9-5
  • Thursday: 9-5
  • Friday: 9-5